- President Joe Biden made a slow return to Washington after spending about a week in Delaware
- The White House Press briefing was canceled, although Biden’s other public events were still on
- Many COVID testing and vaccination sites were closed in DC, Virginia and in Maryland
A winter storm packing heavy snow blew into the United State’s capital Monday, closing government offices and schools and grounding the president’s helicopter as 6 to 11 inches (15 to 28 centimeters) of snow ringed the area around Washington.
Snow spotters for the National Weather Service reported accumulations of 11.5 inches (29.2 centimeters) in the D.C. suburb of Capitol Heights, Maryland, and 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) in Rose Hill, Virginia, by the time the storm wound down Monday afternoon. At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) of snow was reported. Farther south, in Chancellorsville, Virginia, 12.1 inches (30.7 centimeters) was reported.
The heavy snowfall, coupled with closings caused by the surge in coronavirus cases, forced much of Washington to shut down.
Strong wind gusts and snow falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) per hour made travel treacherous. In Virginia, state police responded to more than 600 traffic accidents, including a crash involving six tractor-trailers. State police said no injuries were reported in the crash.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a snow emergency and advised residents to stay home.
(With inputs from AP)